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Just ask the red-shouldered hawk--I am the alien invader.

A cedar waxwing, a blue jay, a goldfinch, a white-winged dove, a red-shouldered hawk,

A monarch butterfly, several squirrels, a rabbit and some bees…

The occasional raccoon, the perennial opossum (does anyone pronounce the “o?”

And once an itinerant armadillo…

Were all in my backyard. Which has been my backyard for only 20 years.

And it has only been anybody’s backyard for about 40 years.

And before that it was somebody’s ranch for about 150 years.

And before that it belonged to the cedar waxsing, a blue jay, a goldfinch, a white-winged dove,

A red-shouldered hawk, rabbits, squirrels, bees, raccoons, opossums, armadillos,

Coyotes, ring-tail cats, perhaps some bison, and lots of others . . .

Not to mention, Comanches, Lipan Apaches, Karankawa. . .

Owned the place!

They never gave me title to this land.

I am their illegal alien

An alien invader.

And after, I am gone,

After my grapevines have gone wild and my fruit trees are the delight of the grackles...

The red-shouldered hawk will nest in my live oak,

Just to show me who really owns the place..

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